Learn about Independence and Sugar Creek history from OCTA board member Matt Mallinson on OCTA’s newest YouTube video, William Gilpin & Gilpintown. Matt is the former mayor of Sugar Creek and also a current board member of the Independence School District. Matt also serves as co-chair of OCTA’s educational programs committee. Here he discusses William Gilpin (October 4, 1813 – January 20, 1894), a 19th-century US explorer, politician, land speculator, and futurist writer about the American West.
Gilpin served as military officer in the United States Army during several wars, accompanied John C. Frémont on his second expedition through the West, and was instrumental in the formation of the government of the Oregon Territory. As a politician and writer, he was an inveterate believer in Manifest Destiny and was a visionary booster of new settlement to the West, helping lay the groundwork in his writings for a modern theory of the succession of civilizations. He also attempted to set up Gilpintown at what is now Matt’s winery on River Boulevard to intercept traffic coming from the Missouri River to Independence in hopes that his town would become a primary jumping off point on the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails.
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Once we reach 1,000 followers, we will be able to earn advertising income from our channel, which would help OCTA’s bottom line tremendously. You’ll also be notified every time we post a new video. We will soon have videos on cholera cemeteries, the Butterfield Trail, and African-Americans on the trail, among many other topics. Watch through the end for information on membership information if you’re not already a member! Please share this far and wide!
If you’re an OCTA member, you’ve likely received your newest edition of the Overland Journal with Gerald Ahnert’s excellent article on the Butterfield. In 1858, John Butterfield personally carried the first bag of mail, boarding the Pacific Railroad in St. Louis. Butterfield’s journey took him through Jefferson City, California, Tipton, Syracuse, Florence, Cole Camp, Warsaw, Bolivar, and Springfield–a journey you can live again by bicycling the Butterfield Stage Experience route in Missouri.
In the 1920s, the Dry Wood Threshers Association of Sheldon, Missouri, erected stone monuments at the location of every known Butterfield Stage Station in Missouri.
In the 1950s, to commemorate the centennial of the Butterfield Stage, the Missouri State Historical Society erected metal signs at towns along the Butterfield route in Missouri. Most signs direct you to the actual Butterfield Stage Station location (and corresponding stone monument) a few miles outside of town.
Tracking down those markers and monuments–as well as dozens more historically significant buildings and places across Missouri–is a big part of what makes the Butterfield Stage Experience a real adventure–and a real experience.
All of these markers and monuments–that we know about!–are marked as Points of Interest on the Butterfield Stage Experience route maps on RideWithGPS.
That means you can track them down, one by one, and relive history. And subscribe to our YouTube Channel, because we will be filming a short video on the Butterfield next Thursday, with a video launch date later this month.
Finding the Grave of John Snyder
Last month the Institute for Canine Forensics shared the article about finding the grave of John Snyder. The short story is on October 5th, 1846 John Snyder was killed in a fight with James Reed. A jury of James’ peers found him guilty of murder, but instead of a death sentence he was exiled. He was forced to leave his wife and four children who stayed with their wagon and the rest of the Party. Read all about it in the Fall 2012 issue of the Overland Journal.
Update on the Great Outdoors
I wanted to provide a further update on pending action in the U.S. Senate on the Great Outdoors American Act (GAOA). Late last week, Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced that GAOA (S. 3422) would be brought to the Senate floor for a vote in June. It would permanently reauthorize the Land & Water Conservation Fund. It is now likely that floor action would occur the week of June 8.
There may be further direction and messaging on more specific outreach, but pending that the best action to take now is to thank cosponsors of S. 3422, ask them to hold the line on passing a clean bill without any amendments, and urge them to vote yes when the time comes. Also, please reach out to any Senator who is NOT a cosponsor and ask them to vote yes. Some Senators who are also bill cosponsors have not returned to the Capitol to vote due to coronavirus concerns, and so it is all the more important that we get commitments from bill cosponsors and others that they will vote “yes”.
Also, there may be a House companion bill introduced very soon so stay tuned for that.
Need Help Doing Genealogy Research?
OCTA Can Help!
There are several mechanisms available that you can use to uncover your own family’s story during the Westward Expansion. Our very own Paper Trail is one great way to start your research, and it’s free to use if you’re an OCTA member. Also, the United States government has kept records throughout its history that can help you with your search. One of the most useful record-keepers is census data. Genealogy Bank has collected a lot of great resources that you can use in concert with Paper Trail.
The “You Have Died of Dysentery” 30K
Saturday, June 6 is National Trails Day. we regret to inform you that due to a hamstring injury, we are postponing this event. It will be rescheduled at a future date. In its place, watch our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds tomorrow for trivia and contests to win prizes such as window decals, maps, and books.